A/N… This was written for JenRar for her birthday. ;) I chose to give her Angelward for a couple of reasons. First, she adores him. Just loves him to pieces, and I couldn't help but hand him over to her on her day. Second, he's what brought her to me. Without him, we wouldn't have become friends, and I swear I don't know how I lived without her before. She's more than my beta; she's become one of the closest friends I have.
Jenny, I love you. Happy birthday, babe. This is for you, and it picks up where Haunted Angel left off. ;)
All I Want for Christmas: An Angel Series Outtake
The soft sound of snow hitting the window was the only sound heard in my house. Gazing out over the backyard of our home in Montana, I shook my head at just how perfect everything looked outside. A blanket of white covered everything, the small pond was partially frozen over, and all of it was completely untouched, as the sunset started to sink low.
The only lights on were the ones on the Christmas tree. They reflected off the shiny black surface of Edward's piano and the large front window. A smile curled my mouth at the sight of it all.
Edward had surprised me after class, having pulled all our decorations down from the attic. He'd gone out to find the perfect tree, and had even put on the lights, but he'd waited until I'd arrived to put the ornaments on with me. I'd giggled at him when he'd greeted me at the door with pine needles sticking out of his hair, wearing a proud, childlike expression on his face. It was our first Christmas in this house since we'd moved to Montana – our last being in the temporary apartment – and he'd wanted it all. He wanted lights, trees, wreaths, and mistletoe. The latter was everywhere, which was just Edward being silly and sweet and sexy. The only thing we didn't have were presents. It was something we'd agreed on, simply because we needed for nothing. A Cullen family vote was unanimous that we'd help others less fortunate than ourselves this year.
We'd been incredibly busy since moving into this house. Despite the fact that we had our own place, Edward and I had classes to attend, homework, and there was always something going on at the main house. With the addition of Caroline and Archie to our family, we were also needed for guidance and support. Kevin and Adrian had started classes with Edward and me this past fall, but Archie would probably never be comfortable around that many humans, and Caroline was just barely into this life, so she wasn't ready to get out into the world on a regular basis, either, though she attended some college events with the rest of us.
My phone vibrated in my back pocket, and I smiled at the picture of Edward's face that lit the screen.
"Hi, handsome," I answered, turning off the fireplace. "You on your way?"
"Sweet girl," he sighed wearily. "No, that's why I'm calling. Carlisle needed my help unloading all the presents at the shelter and the hospital. I'm gonna be stuck here in town. I hate you driving in this weather, but…"
I chuckled, walking to the kitchen to get the keys to the Volvo SUV. "No worries. I'll leave now."
"Bella, wait," he called. "I need you to do something for me."
"You need clothes for after, I know. I packed us a bag, Edward."
He chuckled over the line, and I could almost see his hand claw at his hair if I closed my eyes. "Well, yeah, I'd forgotten about that. Thanks, love."
We'd committed ourselves to the kids at the hospital where Carlisle worked, and then serving dinner and passing out presents at the shelter. After we finished, Kevin and Emmett had begged for a family night out – music and dancing on Christmas Eve since we weren't exchanging presents.
"Well, I can't imagine you'd want to go dancing in that Santa suit, baby," I teased him, fighting my laugh at his groan.
"Not funny," he growled.
"You lost that bet fair and square, Mr. Cullen. So suck it up," I told him.
"Don't remind me," he muttered belligerently.
Grinning, I bit my lip. The boys never, ever missed an opportunity to bet on something, and performing as Santa Claus for kids was no different. Emmett always enjoyed it, but somehow Truth or Dare at Thanksgiving had gotten out of hand, and the subject of Santa had come up. The constant need to be the best at something had morphed from a dare to a disgusting bet on who could eat the most raw oysters. Somehow, Jasper had acquired what seemed like a barrel of the slimy things, and the next thing we all knew Carlisle, Emmett, Jasper, and Edward were in a race to swallow as many as they could. My poor Edward lost.
"They were so disgusting, Bella," he stated over the line, which made me lose my battle with my laugh. "And the smell!"
"Okay, okay," I soothed him. "I won't say I told you so, but… Anyway, what did you need before I left?"
"I know we agreed no gifts, but I left you something on the top of the piano," he said nervously. "Technically, I didn't buy anything, so I'm not breaking any rules, but I thought since you'd be in the car…"
My brow furrowed, but I walked to the piano, and laying on top of a pile of his music sheets was a CD case. My name was scrawled across the cover in his beautiful script, along with "Merry Christmas."
"What is it?" I asked softly.
"You'll see, baby," he told me sweetly.
"Okay." I grinned, holding it to my chest, which was a little rough around the edges with Edward being just outside our limit. "Then I guess it's only fair to tell you that I got you something, too."
"Yeah? What?" he asked, sounding like the seventeen-year-old he was.
"Oh, no," I chided. "You'll have to wait for yours, sir."
"Fair enough, my love," he said with a soft laugh. "Just be careful driving. I'll see you when you get here. I'm sorry I couldn't get away."
"It's okay. Love you."
"Love you, too, sweet girl."
Smiling, I snatched up the keys, the bag I'd packed, and the CD case and walked out to the garage that Edward had added over our summer break from school. I got inside the car, cranking it up, and opening the CD. Out fell a folded piece of paper, and again, a giggle escaped me at just how much Edward spoiled me in all the little ways I loved so much.
I set the disc on my lap, opening the note.
My dearest Isabella,
You must understand, my sweet, beautiful girl, that I can't let a holiday go by without doing something for you. I just can't. It's impossible for me to ignore it. To allow it to pass without showing you, the world, and everyone around us just how much another year with you means to me seems wrong, a sin in its highest forms.
I know we swore no presents, and I can completely understand why. We have everything we want, everything we need, and to see you give to others is a stunning sight to behold. Your smile can brighten anyone's day, calm a nervous child, or soothe a shattered soul. Believe me, I should know. I was all of those things when I first met you.
However, my love for you sometimes comes spilling out of me. I couldn't help but give you something you've been missing. I know we've been busy with school. I know that it'll only continue to get busier. Your patience with teaching Caroline this life has been never-ending. But I know you, my love. I know you miss hearing us play. There hasn't been much time for it, so I thought you'd like a few songs I recorded.
It sounds egotistical to anyone who doesn't know us, but every time I ask you what you want, you simply say, me. So, I'm giving you…me.
I love that you love me this much, beautiful. I hope you understand that you mean so much to me that words fail me. You render me speechless on the best of days, Mrs. Cullen. You are my wish on every fallen star.
Merry Christmas, my sweet girl. I love you.
I brought the paper to my nose and inhaled, smiling at the scent of honey and sunshine that still lingered from where he'd touched it. I folded the note back up and tucked it away in the bag in the passenger seat, pulling out my phone.
Alice picked up on the second ring, saying, "Carlisle rocks!"
I laughed. "Yes, he came through with flying colors. I'm leaving the house now."
"Excellent," she chirped happily. "The hospital won't take long. There aren't too many kids this year, which I suppose is a really good thing. However, we'll need to stay for clean up at the shelter."
"No problem," I said, backing out of the garage. "It'll give us a reason to meet the boys at the club."
"I know!" she squealed, but then paused. "Oh, and don't speed. You're fine on time, but there's an accident on the main highway."
"Got it. See you in a few."
I hung up the phone, slipping the disc into the player. I couldn't help but grin at the sound of Edward's voice and piano filling the car. I gave a quick run-through of the list and shook my head. He'd given me all my favorites. He'd been right in his note that we hadn't had the time for the fun family outings that we'd grown accustom to, but little did he know, I had a surprise or two of my own.
"Thanks, Santa!" a little girl gushed, but it was the quick kiss to Santa's cheek that made me swoon. She had bright blue eyes and two missing front teeth, but she clutched the doll he'd handed her like she'd never let it go.
"Merry Christmas, Gabbie." Edward's voice was soft, smoother than most St. Nicks, and that thought made him narrow his eyes at me across the shelter.
"I'm not actually sure that there could've been a better Santa," Carlisle muttered to me in a soft laugh. "He's reading their minds for what they want."
Chuckling, I pulled the pan of mashed potatoes off the hot serving line. "It's dead helpful. Though, I'm not so sure Jasper isn't pumping the hyper ones with calm."
We carried what a normal human would carry, though all of this would've been easier had we been able to use our true strength and speed. Kevin, Adrian, and Esme were all washing dishes and putting them away. Emmett, Archie, and Jasper were taking the garbage out. The night was almost over.
"I'm gonna go wipe down the tables," I told them, grabbing a wet rag.
It had been a long, emotionally exhausting night. The hospital only had six kids in the ward, so we only stayed long enough for Santa to hand out presents and for me to read Twas the Night Before Christmas.
The shelter had been a bit tougher. Esme and I had worked alongside the shelter's volunteers, who had spent most of the day cooking. We relieved them from serving. There were enough of us to get the job done, and that was even with Caroline and Alice playing elves to Edward's Santa.
I stepped back out into the lunchroom, noting that just about everyone had cleared out. There was an elderly woman at the farthest table still eating, and a younger couple was getting up to leave. I wiped down the first two tables, cleaning up trash on the third, when I saw the little boy by the door.
He was small, no more than five, with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He shifted nervously on his feet, his eyes locked behind me where it was obvious that Santa was packing things up.
Edward, baby, wait, I thought to my husband, who immediately turned my way.
"He's leaving?" the little guy asked, tears welling up in his eyes. "I knew I'd miss him…"
"Hey," I said, kneeling in front of him. "He's not gone yet. What's your name?"
"Jeremy," he sniffled. "I had to wait for my mom, and then we had to walk."
"Hi, Jeremy, I'm Bella. It's okay," I soothed him, offering him my hand. "C'mon, we'll go see him." We walked over to where Edward was waiting patiently, and Alice appeared at his side. "Santa, this is Jeremy. He's a busy guy, but he did his best to make it on time."
Edward chuckled, leaning forward. "Hello, Jeremy. Come here and tell me what you want for Christmas."
The little guy stepped forward, letting go of my hand. He opted not to sit on Edward's lap, but instead, stood between his legs. He took a deep breath, his face scrunching up adorably. However, Edward's brow furrowed for a moment, obviously reading the boy's mind.
"I just…I mean… I really wanted a bike," Jeremy murmured nervously. "We just moved and my old one couldn't come. It wouldn't fit…"
Edward nodded, looking to Alice with a nod.
Alice grinned, shooting a wink my way. "I told him to save that last bike," she stated, just soft enough the little man didn't hear her as she stepped behind the curtain.
She came back out with a brand new boys' bike. It was bright, metallic blue with knobby dirt tires, and it even had a helmet hanging from the handlebars.
"No way!" Jeremy squeaked, his eyes widening as it came closer and closer.
Edward laughed softly, placing a gloved hand on the boy's shoulder. "Way," he told him teasingly. "Is there anything else you want, Jeremy?" he asked, and my brow furrowed because normally, he'd let them go after the present was given.
Jeremy shook his head. "Not for me. And you don't give presents to grownups."
"Try me," Edward told him, but his voice told me there was something important that Jeremy was wanting. "Who's the grownup?"
"My mom," he whispered, giving the woman who was waiting patiently in the back of the room a quick glance. "She's… She needs a job. If not, she says we gotta move again, but I don't wanna live with Grandpa. He smells funny."
Alice and I giggled, simply because the honesty of that statement was too damn cute.
Edward looked up at me, and then back at Jeremy, saying, "I'll see what I can do. Okay, buddy?"
Jeremy grinned, gripping the handlebars of his new bike. "Thanks, Santa!"
Once he walked to his mom, Alice said, "I'll send Jasper after them to see where she lives, Edward. We'll send something her way. But…" Her voice trailed off. It was apparent that she was having a vision. "Ah…she applies at the hospital. Excellent. I'll tell Carlisle."
Edward nodded, the pinch in his eyes lessening at Alice's vision. I started to go finish my cleaning of the tables, but instead, I found myself pulled up onto Santa's lap.
"Are you gonna tell Santa what you want for Christmas?" I was asked in my ear, and I broke into a laugh, shaking my head. "No?" he asked.
"Nope, I'm good, big guy," I said, patting his belly, which was really a pillow shoved in there. "I've got everything a girl could ask for."
He grinned, and I only knew that from the crinkle in the corners of his eyes. His mouth was hidden behind a fake, white beard.
I tugged beard down a little, giggling at him. "God, you're so cute, I can't stand it."
He huffed a laugh, pressing his lips to mine, briefly. "Did you like your present, sweet girl?" he asked, nuzzling my nose with his.
"I did. It was perfect, Edward. When did you have time for that?"
He shrugged a shoulder. "I have my ways, beautiful."
"Don't I know it," I told him, pointing to the tables. "Let me finish, so we can get out of here. The girls and I have to clean up before we meet you at the club."
"Wait… What? We're not riding together?" he asked, sounding almost like he was pouting. "And where's my present?"
Giggling, I got up from his lap, but dropped another kiss to his lips. "Oh, Edward…patience. Christmas isn't over yet."
I stepped in through the door of the club, shaking my head. As if the assault on my mind wasn't tested with all the kids tonight, I now had the thoughts of inebriated, slightly depressed human adults on Christmas Eve, which was a thousand times worse. I caught glimpses of family arguments, loneliness, and a few who were there hoping to just wind down before facing the holiday at home.
Gazing over the tables, I located my father and brothers pulling a couple of tables together.
"The girls and Kevin aren't here yet?" Emmett asked.
I shook my head. "No, when I was leaving the shelter, they were cleaning up. One of the shelter employees said they could use the shower room. Kevin said he'd ride with them."
"I can't blame them," Adrian murmured, his face scrunching up in disgust. "We all smelled like human food. I couldn't clean up quickly enough."
Archie grimaced. "That was really awful."
Chuckling, I sat between him and Carlisle. "No kidding. And I'm glad to be out of that damn suit."
"Awesome job, though, Santa," Jasper taunted, holding out his fist to bump it. When I raised an eyebrow at him, he laughed. "Seriously. You kinda rocked that shit."
Carlisle's hand landed on my shoulder. "Good job, son."
I smiled his way, but it was his thoughts I was listening to the most. He truly thought my gift was a big help, not only tonight, but it would serve me well in the career Bella and I were pursuing – child psychology.
"Oh, which reminds me," I said, answering his mental train of thought. "That last boy…Jeremy. His mom's name is Susan Holmes. Can you just…I don't know…pull some strings at the hospital?"
"Consider it done," Carlisle stated, and to him, the matter was closed. He'd already spoken to Alice.
"Why that kid?" Emmett asked. "I mean we saw a bunch of kids today."
I smiled, shrugging a shoulder. "I guess because he was so distraught when he showed up. He just about broke poor Bella's heart. He thought he'd missed Santa, and his poor face… It was all she could do not to wrap him up." I chuckled, my heart aching to see my girl. "Anyway, his mom was at the door. She knew what he'd ask for, but she didn't think he'd get it, especially so late. It's just the two of them. Divorce."
A guy stepped up on stage, walking over to karaoke equipment.
"Aw, hell. Is this why the girls wanted to come here?" Jasper asked with a laugh.
"Excellent!" Emmett beamed like a kid in a candy store. "It's not an open mic, but hey, what the hell?" he asked, picking up the song book.
All of us chuckled, but my father's mind went completely blank, and I shot a glance his way. He was now mentally naming off the bones in the human body in order, starting at the toes.
Narrowing my eyes at him, I asked, "Shouldn't the girls be here by now?"
"You'd think, but you know they run late when getting ready," he explained, his face blank of all expression. "Or maybe it's the weather slowing them down."
"Mmhm," I hummed, not believing a word of it. He was in on something. "Weather."
A waitress appeared at the table, eyeing the entire lot of us, and her mind went haywire for just a moment. She couldn't even speak as she took in what she thought to be the prettiest table full of men she'd ever seen.
I fought my grin, simply because Bella would've gotten a kick out of that, but I decided to help her out.
"Two pitchers and a dozen glasses, please," I ordered, simply to fit in with the people around us.
"A…A dozen?" she asked.
"Yes, please. Our wives and significant others will be joining us," I stated, gesturing to the empty chairs around the two large tables.
I ended with a smile, which made Jasper snort, but the young girl, whose name was Nicole, smiled back.
"Awesome," she sang, adjusting the red and white Santa hat perched on her head. "You guys gonna sing?"
"Maybe," Emmett said with a grin. "Someone's gotta get the party started."
"Well, get in line, big guy," Nicole laughed. "The list is already pretty long. I'll be back."
Once she took a few more orders, she walked back to the bar, as the first singer up on stage was a rather drunk man. His rendition of Elvis's Blue Christmas wasn't bad, but he slurred through most of it.
When he was finished, the applause was polite, and the guy running the karaoke machine, stepped up to the microphone, saying, "Okay, okay… Up next… Well, let's just say, if there's a Santa Claus, I know what I want under my tree."
My eyes narrowed, and I merely groaned at the man's thoughts. "Oh, hell." I pinched the bridge of my nose, shaking my head. "She's in so much trouble…"
Carlisle cracked up, wrapping an arm around me. "I sincerely doubt that."
Glaring his way, I growled. "If she's wearing what that guy is showing me…they're all in trouble."
His face paled. "Seriously?"
I merely gestured toward the curtains that were parting. The tinkling bells of a song started, but there were six silhouettes on the stage, with one out front – one whose body I knew better than my own.
Bella's voice was full, beautiful, and so fucking sexy that I could barely breathe.
I don't want a lot for Christmas.
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents,
Underneath the Christmas tree.
I just want you for my own,
More than you could ever know.
Make my wish come true,
All I want for Christmas is you.
The lights came up and I couldn't help but laugh and groan at the same time. Bella was absolutely the sexiest thing I'd ever laid eyes on in the hundred and fifteen years I'd been on this planet. She was standing out front wearing the most alluring and deadly red Santa dress with white, fluffy trim. It was short, flaring out just below that plump ass of hers. My eyes raked over black knee-high boots, strong thighs, and perfect breasts, before catching her naughty smile as she just took over the whole bar.
Her backup singers were just as deadly. Rose, Alice, Caroline, and Esme were all in matching dresses, only theirs were green and white. I couldn't help but chuckle when Kevin was Bella's dancing partner in his green suit and plaid vest. He spun her once, but she grinned, leaving the stage for the next verse and making her way to the table.
Oh, I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
I'm just gonna keep on waitin'
Underneath the mistletoe
I won't make a list and send it to the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to hear those magic reindeer click
'Cause I just want you here tonight,
Holdin' onto me so tight.
What more can I do?
Baby, all I want for Christmas is you.
She walked around our table, shooting Carlisle a wink, but when she got to me, she stood between my legs. Fingers ruffled my hair, making my dick twitch hard behind the jeans I was wearing, but I couldn't stop myself from reaching out to touch the smooth, soft skin along the outside of her thigh.
She grabbed my hand, never missing a note, kissing my palm, but placing it back on my own leg. She shook her head at me and walked away to work the crowd, but came right back to me. This time, from behind me.
All the lights are shinin' so brightly everywhere,
And the sound of children's laughter fills the air.
And everyone is singin'
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need,
Won't you please bring my baby to me?
With that, she dropped a kiss to my cheek, raking her fingers through my hair again, before taking the stage one more time. The thoughts in the bar were in awe of her voice, but they were also focused on her beauty, her legs, and her sweet, happy face. Every man wanted them. All of them. The women were jealous of her voice, who she was singing to, and her beauty. They wanted to be her.
It was too much. I'd been away from her most of the damn day, staying right on the fringe of our ten mile limit. And when I did see her, I couldn't touch her like I wanted. I needed her on every level. I wanted to claim her in front of every male here, marking her as mine, to steal her away for the night, and to worship her. I needed to reconnect with her after being apart most of the day. But mainly, I wanted to know what was underneath that dress.
The group of them took their bows as the crowd cheered, and I would've stood up, but I had a serious problem, and I wasn't the only one at the table with that same problem.
Bella, Kevin, and the girls stepped off the stage, making their way to the table. My girl stepped back between my legs, leaning down to kiss my lips.
"Merry Christmas, Edward," she whispered, wearing a sexy smile. "It seems I'm not the only one that missed this."
"So much trouble," I muttered, toying with the fluffy fringe around the hem of her skirt and grinning up at her. "God, you're beautiful, love." I rubbed my chest briefly, but the action caught her eye.
We can go, sweetheart. I got us a hotel room upstairs, she thought to me.
I thought about it for a moment, but I didn't want a hotel room on Christmas Eve, so I shook my head. "I want you home. Our home."
She smiled sweetly. "'Kay."
From the brief thoughts I was catching from my family, this had all been planned by the girls as a reward for our work at the hospital and shelter. Adrian and Kevin were getting up from the table to head to the hotel. Carlisle and Esme were deep in their own world. Everyone else was already gone. We'd sent Jasper into lust overload.
The drive home in the snowy weather was torture. Bella was too far away in the passenger seat, but if she came any closer than the hand on my leg, I'd start touching her and wouldn't be able to stop.
When I pulled into the garage, I glanced over at her, my head falling back to the head rest. Her mind was open to me, and I fought my smile at the fleeting idea that I might be mad at her. It was quite the opposite.
"Big trouble, Isabella. Huge," I said softly, my fingers reaching over to unbuckle her seatbelt. I tugged at the tie of her coat, opening it up so I could see that deadly dress and those dangerous thighs. "What do I do with you, my sexy girl?"
Her grin was blindingly beautiful. It lit up the inside of the car, making me chuckle.
"I was hoping you'd do whatever you wanted."
"Ah, I see," I sighed dramatically. "Is that part of my present, too?"
"Yes," she whispered, shivering under my touch as I dragged a finger down to her knee.
"Hmm," I hummed, pretending to think about it. "Then you'd better get inside, Bella. Start the fire and wait for me in the living room."
She squeaked, fumbling for the car door, and was inside the house in a blink of an eye. My head fell back to the head rest again, and I let out a deep breath. Her thoughts were open for a brief moment from inside the house. She was wondering which side of me would be joining her – Possessive Edward, for all the men that stared at her, Dominant Edward, since I kept telling her she was in trouble, or Dirty Edward, which was the one she wanted.
I chuckled to myself, but if my girl wanted to play, then we could definitely play. I got out of the car and closed up the garage, making more noise than necessary when I dropped my keys in the kitchen and removed my shoes and socks, simply to keep her guessing.
The only lights on in the house were the Christmas tree and the fire in the fireplace. My Bella was standing in the middle of the room. I picked up the remote for the stereo, turning on soft Christmas music. Taking a seat on the edge of sofa, I waved her to me.
"What to do…" I purred, reaching out and touching her the way I'd wanted to in the bar – flat palms on the outside of her thighs, my nose leaning in to inhale her cleavage, and lips ghosting across her immortal scar. My scar.
"Shh," I breathed against her collarbone, because I knew she was about five seconds from apologizing, and I damn well didn't want it. "Do you have any idea what you in this dress, singing with that stunning voice, did to the poor patrons of the club, Mrs. Cullen?" I asked her in a low voice.
"I don't care," she answered. "I only care what you thought."
I hid my smile into her neck, dropping a long, slow, open-mouth kiss to where her pulse used to pound. Instead of the thump against my lips, the room filled with the scent of her. Pure, needy, aroused Bella. It was my favorite scent in the world.
"What I thought," I echoed slowly, pulling back to simply look at her. I shook my head. "I think you live to drive me crazy, Bella." I cupped her ass, my curiosity skyrocketing at what was at my fingertips. It felt like lace and silk, but something else, too. "I think we were pretty much thinking the same thing about what we wanted for Christmas, my deadly girl."
Bella smiled, but reached up to run her fingers through my hair.
"Ah ah…no touching," I reprimanded, and her hands fell back down to her sides. "Not yet, baby," I whispered, giving her lips barely a brush with my own, just to tell her I wanted to play. "Spread your legs a little."
Her feet shifted, and my eyes locked with dark and needy, as my fingers continued to explore underneath that dress. I teased the damp material between her legs, not giving her the pressure or friction she wanted.
"I'm no fool, Isabella," I told her, raising an eyebrow. "I know damn well you're wearing something sinful underneath this dress." When she countered my eyebrow with her own, I smirked. "The question remains… Did I earn it?"
She grinned knowingly. It was a fun rule that Bella liked to enforce occasionally. In order to see, I had to earn the privilege. And to earn it, I had to tell her stories. I loved my girl in lingerie, almost with an addiction. I happily paid her Victoria's Secret card every month with a satisfied grin on my face.
"So, what is it, love?" I asked her, reaching for the zipper of her dress in the middle of her back. "Have I earned it? I can't imagine there isn't something you don't know about me by now, beautiful."
"Never. I want more. Always," she whispered, her hands twitching at her sides.
"What's the question?"
"Why'd you help that little boy today? The last one?" she asked.
I wasn't expecting that question, but I answered her truthfully. "He needed it. He's the man of the house, and he wanted to prove it by trying to help his mom. The bike was for a paper route. And Alice saw her applying at the hospital, so Carlisle will make sure she gets the job."
"Aw," Bella crooned, and it looked like she'd have been crying if she were able.
"Don't feel sorry for him, sweet girl," I said, cupping her face. "He left feeling like a freakin' million bucks." I grinned when she giggled. "His words, not mine."
Bella reached back, guiding my hand to pull down the zipper. The velvet dress fell to the floor in a pool of red and white, but what was underneath was just as stunning – red lace and silk underwear and a strapless bra. My girl started to reach for her boots, but I stopped her.
"Oh, no…those stay on," I practically growled, my eyes taking in every inch of her. "Turn around," I ordered, wondering about the smirk on her face, but my question was answered when I saw her sweet ass in front of me.
The words "Dear Santa…Define naughty" was written across it in scrolling black embroidery. Grinning, my forehead hit the small of her back. God, I loved this dangerous creature. I dropped a kiss to each dimple above her ass before reaching up to unhook her bra. I pulled it away, tossing it to the floor.
"Define naughty," I crooned, cupping both of her cheeks in my hand and giving them a good squeeze. "How about…driving the male population of this town into a lust-filled frenzy?" I asked, popping her right butt cheek with a flat hand.
The squeak and then low moan was my reward.
"How about…you almost caused me to sever the heads of some people thinking dirty things about what's…mine?" I asked, popping her left cheek, only to rub between her legs. "Hmm, I'm thinking punishment isn't exactly working, Isabella."
"Patience," I purred, turning her back to face me.
I leaned forward, trailing kisses along her stomach, over each hip bone, and finally, up between her breasts to her scar. I barely allowed my nose to trace the edge of it, because I knew she'd fall apart the second my mouth came in contact with it. It was overly sensitive, something left from her change, and it drove her crazy. But I wasn't quite ready to push her over the edge. I pulled back to gaze up at her, my fingers toying with the waistband of her underwear.
Yanking them down over her ass, I said, "Step out of them."
She was completely bare in front of me, save for those boots, her eyes darkening to pitch black, especially when I had to adjust myself behind my jeans.
I can help with that, you know, she thought, wearing a smile that she completely got from me – all crooked and mischievous.
"Yes, ma'am. And you will, but…" I lightly popped the side of her leg and then my thigh. "Put that leg up here."
The very second her leg lifted, the scent of her hit me like a freight train.
"Oh fuck," I hissed, leaning in and inhaling her skin from her knee all the way to her inner thigh. "That sweet pussy smells delicious, baby," I growled, allowing just the tip of my tongue to taste what had leaked onto her thigh. Dragging my tongue along my bottom lip, I savored the flavor of her – sweet, salty, musky, and all Bella.
"Edward…please," she begged.
I guided her to the coffee table behind her, shoving magazines and books to the floor with a sweep of my arm. I laid her down, grasping each leg behind the knees and spreading her open.
"Should I let you come, Bella?" I asked her, pinning her to the table by her legs as I leaned in closer. "Tell me, sweet girl. Should I make you cry out my name?"
"Please, Edward!" she cried out, the heels of those boots digging into my shoulders.
"Exactly like that." I raked my tongue from one end of her to the other, stopping just short of her clit. The taste of her at the source was almost overwhelming. I moaned, gripping her legs tighter when she tried to grind up with her hips. "Keep still, love," I warned her. "Remember…you brought this on yourself, Bella…"
She huffed a breathy laugh, and I couldn't help but smile, because no matter what, she loved every part of my personality – possessive, dominate, dirty. She didn't care. And it was that thought that made me dive into her like a starving man.
"God, yes," she growled, her head falling back over the other side of the table. Her hair fell to the rug in chocolate waves. "Just like that…"
I hummed against her, trailing my tongue from one entrance to the other, finally latching on to her clit. Her taste was divine, a sweet, sinful treat that at one time in my life I didn't think I deserved. She taught me differently every single day. At that thought, I gave her what she wanted. I drank from her, teased her, and finally allowed her to fuck my face by letting go of her legs and bracing myself on the table. Her fingers threaded into my hair, guiding me to where she wanted me. She fell apart with a scream, her entire body bowing up off the table in a stunning arc.
Leaning over her, I slipped my fingers into her hair to bring her head up. "Bella-love, open your eyes." When still-heated black opened to meet my gaze, I brushed my lips over hers. "You still want to know what I thought?" I asked, kissing her again when she nodded. "You were absolutely fucking stunning tonight, baby."
I could feel it in my chest when our connection kicked the electricity up in the room. It caused my breathing to falter, so I gathered my girl into my arms and sat back onto the sofa with her straddling my lap.
"I love you," I simply said, bringing her forehead to my own.
As always, a spark flickered in her eyes when I said those words, and she echoed them right back. "I love you, too, Edward."
She slipped her hands beneath my sweater, gathering it up so she could tug it off. It fell to the floor atop her dress, and she then reached for my jeans. She was all things luminous and beautiful as the Christmas lights bounced off her skin. She loomed over me, her hand releasing me from my jeans at the same time her mouth met mine.
Suddenly, I didn't want to play anymore. I just wanted my wife – in whatever capacity she'd give me.
"Bella," I whispered, trailing kisses down her neck.
"Yeah," was all the answer I received. I turned us so that I could lay her on the sofa.
Kicking out of my jeans, I settled between her legs, purring at the feel of those boot heels digging into the backs of my thighs.
"Did you mean what you told Santa?" I asked, bending down to finally brush my lips across my scar, my mark on her. "That you had everything you could ask for?"
She cupped my face, bringing my gaze to hers. "Every wish on every fallen star," she said, repeating what I'd written to her.
My kiss was reverent, soft, languid as I slipped inside of her. The snow continued to fall outside, the fire crackled in the fireplace, and I couldn't imagine my life any better than it was. The angelic girl beneath me was every Christmas wish I'd ever had.
I loved her slowly, taking my time, simply to illicit as many sounds as I could. We came together almost silently, but I dragged the blanket off the back of the sofa, cocooning us in front of the fire.
Pulling her close, our legs tangling, I smiled at the fact that we'd both given the same present to each other – ourselves.
"Merry Christmas, sweet girl."
A soft kiss was pressed to my jaw. "Merry Christmas, Edward."
A/N… I need to thank Pamela (drivingEdward) for helping me clean this up. It felt a little like cheating on Jenny, but she came through in a pinch. ;) LOL Also, Beffers87 made the most gorgeous banner for this (also a present to Jenny) and it can be found on FB and Twitter.
Jenny…again, I hope you have an amazing and fun birthday. I hope you know I love you so much. MWAH